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Continuous Improvement: Bumble, Bumble, Nailed It!

I was in a conversation the other day that I was hoping was going to be straightforward.

We were looking to extend part of an ERP system into another area of the business. The area admittedly was difficult to model within ERP and had therefore been kept out of the system. But I had an idea that I thought would work.

The conversation was not straightforward...

This is like so many of our conversations around improvement though isn't it?

We think we may have a workable solution and as soon as we have said our piece a million reasons why it can't / won't work are thrown up. You've got to stick with these conversations and see where they can take you to. If you keep going you have a chance of finding a practical solution that everyone can buy into.

That's just what I did in this particular case. I explored other options and found some avenues to explore, just to keep the conversation going.

We prodded, probed and chatted until an elegant and simple option presented itself.

That's the one we went for, and it is working wonderfully.

If you feel that you are getting shot down when you are proposing improvement ideas don't worry, unfortunately this seems to be a natural part of the process. Keep going, keep 'bumbling around' with one eye on your improvement objective and you will reach a workable conclusion.

The key is to keep going...

Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

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